When Is MRI Imaging Appropriate During an Evaluation?
July 18, 2022
MRI imaging is relatively common in the physical therapy world. Countless physical therapists use MRI imaging to help diagnose specific ailments and examine damaged or irritated joints, tissues, bones, and more. However, physical therapists only use MRI imaging in specific situations, leaving many patients wondering when the process is necessary during evaluation.
Fortunately, Gordon Physical Spokane put together a guide to teach you about MRI imagining and when it’s required to treat medical conditions during the evaluation process.
Gordon Physical Spokane is a team of experienced physical therapists dedicated to improving their patients’ quality of life. We help people overcome their ailments and injuries through running therapy, advanced technology, and other medical treatments. Our team will help restore your vigor so you can live life to the fullest virtually pain-free.
What is MRI Imaging?
MRI imaging allows physical therapists to take detailed pictures of your body’s internal structure. They help medical experts analyze a person’s bones, tissue, muscles, and more to understand their patient’s ailment or injury better. Sports medicine experts and physical therapists also use MRI imaging to rule out potential causes of a patient’s pain or discomfort.
However, physical therapists don’t use MRI imaging to evaluate or diagnose every ailment or injury. They assess and treat most patients without diagnostic test results.
MRI imaging alone doesn’t affect the therapist’s prescribed exercises or treatment plan. It’s just a tool to help medical professionals better understand specific issues affecting a patient.
MRI imaging also helps uncover medical problems and injuries within asymptomatic patients (people suffering from an injury or condition without experiencing symptoms). Many patients don’t realize they have an injury or physical ailment until they receive an MRI imaging scan.
When is MRI Imaging Necessary During a Physical Therapy Session?
Many physical therapists utilize MRI imaging when a patient’s recovery process stalls or regresses. They examine the affected area and the surrounding region to see how the problem affects the sector. An MRI helps physical therapists analyze the issue and understand how to treat the ailment or injury efficiently.
Another reason physical therapists use MRI imaging is to confirm a hypothesis that may require surgery. They assess the patient’s MRI images, medical history, recent test results, and more to see if surgery is a viable option.
What Are Some Injuries and Conditions MRI Imaging Helps Uncover?
MRI imaging can find multiple injuries and conditions within asymptomatic patients, ranging from herniated discs to tissue inflammation. Below are some common issues MRI imaging helps uncover.
- Spinal stenosis
- Nerve compression
- Disc herniations
- Shoulder and hip labrum tears
- Rotator cuff tendon tears
- Meniscus tears
MRI imaging helps physical therapists understand ailments and injuries in people of all ages and walks of life. However, older patients usually require MRI imaging more than younger people.
It’s important to note that most people require different treatments even if they suffer from the same condition or injury. If two people suffer the same spinal cord injury, one patient may need more intense physical therapy sessions than the other patient. Physical therapists analyze the following to determine a patient’s recovery regimen.
- Physical presentation
- Injury location
- Injury quality
- Symptom intensity
- Aggravating movement
- Medical history
- Physical activity
- The patient’s healing stage
- The patient’s personal goals
As stated before, MRI imaging is only a tool to help physical therapists understand a patient’s injury or condition. They don’t determine the treatment or prescribed exercises.
Most physical therapists examine and treat patients without MRI imaging. They work with you to discover the best treatment option for your unique condition or injury. Although MRI imaging is sometimes necessary, most patients won’t undergo the process.
Contact Gordon Physical Spokane for First-Class Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley, WA
If you need physical therapy in Spokane Valley, WA, contact Gordon Physical Spokane. We will help you recover from your ailment or injury swiftly so you can enjoy your favorite activities without severe pain or discomfort. Our team always prioritizes your needs and won’t hesitate to go above and beyond to give you a pain-free life.
Whether you need help recovering from a spinal cord injury or require running therapy, Gordon Physical Spokane is here for you.
If you’re ready to take the first step to a more active and pain-free lifestyle, contact Gordon Physical Spokane at 509.892.5442 and see what our physical therapists can do for you today!